I’ve been struck by a soppy case of nostalgia in recent weeks. It’s not homesickness for the green pastures of England, although I will be returning to rural Cheshire for King Charles III’s coronation weekend. (If you’re in Florence and wish to raise a glass to the new monarch, check out the exciting events schedule at St. Mark’s English Church and The British Institute – see our Best Events coverage.) It’s more of serendipitous sentimentality, for this is a round number issue of The Florentine, and every round number feels important, especially when we’re talking about an independently managed magazine that receives no public funding beyond the occasional ad space.
Issue 300 – Covering Florence
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Can you imagine coming up with 300 ways to communicate Florence? Neither can we, although we’ve succeeded down the years. Welcome to Issue 300!
Cover image: Marco Badiani + Leo Cardini
Welcome to Issue 300! Bear with us as we dwell on this achievement with a front page celebrating the myriad designs that have lured people to Florence and enticed them to stay, announced exclusive stories and focused on the international community, all with a belief that beauty makes print relevant. Looking back at Issue One in April 2005, it’s astonishing to think how far this magazine has come. Based on an idea by Californians Nita and Tony Tucker, Marco Badiani came up with the name (surely a stroke of genius!), Leonardo Cardini did the first layouts and Giovanni Giusti hopped on a bike to distribute the copies around town. The rest is history. Except it’s not because these three exceedingly Tuscan guys, with the help of an ever-changing native English editorial team, have, through savvy management and dynamic dispositions, somehow succeeded not only in navigating the choppy waters of the media landscape, but building a brand that now looks to the future with absolute confidence. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of a fiorino d’oro for services rendered so constantly to the city.
Join us on May 18 (from 7 to 10pm) at Ditta Artigianale Sant’Ambrogio for our Issue 300 Party as we hang out with our international community in Florence and raise a glass to The Florentine’s longevity as an independent magazine.
22 euro includes light bites, Ruffino wine and a donation to a local charity.
Of course, it’s not just the owners that have made The Florentine what it is today. The editor defines the day-to-day operations, so here’s a grande grazie to my predecessors (in chronological order): Carla Rossi, Linda Falcone, Alexandra Lawrence and Brenda Dionisi. Gratitude also goes to our advertising and distribution manager Giacomo Badiani and to the entire editorial staff over the last 18 years. Wallowing as we have been in a wave of sentimentality, I reached out to some of our former interns to find out what they did after their time at TF.
Rest assured, you’ll find the usual non-dewy-eyed coverage of Florence too. Lisa Marie Conte Browne of the US-based Friends of the Uffizi tells us about her mission to support Florence’s foremost museum (page 6), American comedian and screenwriter Ross Hyzer speaks about his move to Florence (page 26), and Hershey Felder goes behind the scenes at architectural firm extraordinaire Archea (pages 30 + 31). Serena Isaac dedicated verve and creativity to styling our vintage clothing shoot. We thank the new Manufattura Tabacchi The Factory for hosting us, vintage companies Soufois, Fango, Humana and Loft for taking part as well as talented photographers Gaia Serru and Francesca Moore, plus models Andrea Facchin and Melissa Perpunja.
Enjoy May in Florence!
18 years, 300 issues and 20 million online visits* later… What else can we do? Keep going without a moment’s pause. We still feel new after all. New, but with more experience!
We have met thousands of interesting people, listened to life stories, discovered incredible things, seen, and reviewed countless exhibitions and restaurants. We have given advice and relayed useful information. We have published news and listed all kinds of events, while entertaining students and “international locals” from all over the world.
But the most wonderful thing is that we are still at the start of the story. Florence has something new to talk about every day and is forever evolving with the guarantee of its unique heritage at the core. More than anything else, our hope is that we continue to be useful and act as your faithful companion to life in the city.
Like every month, even before this Issue Number 300 has gone to press, we will have risen phoenix-style and started over again as enthusiastic and grateful as ever to report on Florence for you.
-Marco Badiani, publisher
*We started off slowly with our first website in 2005 with constant and continued growth through to crazy acceleration during Covid, years in which our digital life became gigantic.